Installing And Using OpenVZ On Debian Lenny (AMD64)

Version 1.1
Author: Falko Timme

In this HowTo I will describe how to prepare a Debian Lenny server for OpenVZ. With OpenVZ you can create multiple Virtual Private Servers (VPS) on the same hardware, similar to Xen and the Linux Vserver project. OpenVZ is the open-source branch of Virtuozzo, a commercial virtualization solution used by many providers that offer virtual servers. The OpenVZ kernel patch is licensed under the GPL license, and the user-level tools are under the QPL license.

This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm using an x86_64 (amd64) system here. If you are on an i386 system, a few commands will be slightly different - I have added annotations to that parts.


2 Installing OpenVZ

An OpenVZ kernel and the vzctl and vzquota packages are available in the Debian Lenny repositories, so we can install them as follows:

apt-get install linux-image-openvz-amd64 vzctl vzquota 

(If you are on a i386 system, the kernel package is named linux-image-openvz-686.)

Create a symlink from /var/lib/vz to /vz to provide backward compatibility:

ln -s /var/lib/vz /vz 

Open /etc/sysctl.conf and make sure that you have the following settings in it:

vi /etc/sysctl.conf
net.ipv4.conf.default.proxy_arp = 0
kernel.sysrq = 1
net.ipv4.conf.default.send_redirects = 1
net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects = 0

If you need to modify /etc/sysctl.conf, run

sysctl -p 


The following step is important if the IP addresses of your virtual machines are from a different subnet than the host system's IP address. If you don't do this, networking will not work in the virtual machines!

Open /etc/vz/vz.conf and set NEIGHBOUR_DEVS to all:

vi /etc/vz/vz.conf
# Controls which interfaces to send ARP requests and modify APR tables on.

I also want to install the package vzdump which is not available in the Debian Lenny repositories - fortunately there's a .deb package available on First we install the package cstream on which vzdump is depending:

apt-get install cstream

Then we install vzdump as follows:

dpkg -i vzdump_1.1-1_all.deb

Finally, reboot the system:


If your system reboots without problems, then everything is fine!


uname -r

and your new OpenVZ kernel should show up:

server1:~# uname -r

Share this page:

Suggested articles

1 Comment(s)

Add comment


By: tmu

The link for vzdump is broken


dpkg -i vzdump_1.2-4_all.deb

for me need to install also:

aptitude install liblockfile-simple-perl